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AM News Brief: Utah's Hot Job Market, Inland Port Amendments & Mapping Wyoming's Red Desert

Photo of new home construction.
Brian Albers / KUER
The Utah job market continues to grow, with employers "aggressively seeking labor." Industries like construction, information, and leisure and hospitality are seeing particularly fast growth. This story and more in the Wednesday morning news brief.

Wednesday morning, Mar. 4, 2020

State

Utah’s Super Tuesday

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is projected to win Utah’s 2020 democratic primary. As of 8:30 a.m. Wednesday with 71% of precincts reporting, Sanders percentage of the vote is approaching 35% ... Joe Biden sits in second with 17.1% and Mike Bloomberg rounds third with 16.9%. Read the full story. — Sonja Hutson

“Aggressively Seeking Labor”

The Utah job market continues to grow, with employers “aggressively seeking labor.” That’s according to Workforce Services Chief Economist Mark Knold. The latest figures released from the state agency show payrolls expanded in January by 2.9%, or nearly 45,000 jobs, and the private sector grew by 3% over the past year. January’s estimated unemployment rate is 2.5%, a full point lower than the national rate, which remains unchanged at 3.5%. The largest gains in the private-sector were in leisure and hospitality, construction, and information. — Diane Maggipinto

Southern Utah

Who Should Control Public Land?

Support for the land transfer movement, which promotes shifting federal public land to state control, has flagged in recent years. But one right-wing organization that champions the cause is asking the State of Utah to fund a new approach to force the federal government to relinquish public land. The American Lands Council wants state leaders to bring the question of whether the state can take control of federal public land to the U.S. Supreme Court. The organization is also seeking $50,000 to generate public support for the effort. Read the full story. — Kate Groetzinger, Blanding

Northern Utah

Inland Port Amendment Flies Through House

The legislature is considering adjustments to the controversial inland port after ongoing environmental protest around the transportation hub. A bill that passed the Utah House overwhelmingly Tuesday limits what money would be offered for development projects that don’t meet the minimal environmental standards set by the Port board. It would also give the Salt Lake City Mayor’s office and Magna township seats on the board. The bill now heads to the Senate. — Jessica Lowell

Region

Mapping Wyoming’s Red Desert

The Mountain West region is home to the largest chunk of unfenced land in the continental U.S. But exploring Wyoming’s Red Desert can be daunting, since there’s little signage or information online. Now the Wyoming Outdoor Council is producing the first widely available map of the landscape to keep people from getting lost but to also encourage exploration. The first run of the map will include 20,000 copies. There will also be a digital copy online. — Maggie Mullen, Mountain West News Bureau

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